Purple Sow Thistle
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Purple Sow Thistle
ative Photo: Shaista Ahmad
Common name: Purple Sow Thistle, Cupid's shaving-brush, emilia, Flora's paint brush, red tassel-flower • Hindi: hirankhuri, kirankuri, hirankuri • Marathi: sadamandee, panom, undrachi • Tamil: muyalccevi, mayarcevi • Malayalam: mulshevi, muyalccevi • Kannada: ili kivi gida, elikivi gida, elikivisoppu, jumki hoo • Bengali: sadimodi, sachimodi • Oriya: binj-kudo • Assamese: bonkapahua • Sanskrit: sasasruti, sasasrutih • Tangkhul: Revival macha • Nepali: मुलापाते Mula pate, चौलाने झार Chaulaane Jhaar
Botanical name: Emilia sonchifolia    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)
Synonyms: Emilia sinica, Senecio rapae, Crassocephalum sonchifolium

Purple Sow Thistle is an annual herb with a branched taproot. Stems are weak, erect or often branched at the base, smooth or sparingly hairy, 10 to 60 cm tall. This species is recognized by the sow-thistle like leaves. Lower leaves are deeply and irregularly toothed, kidney-shaped, ovate, triangular-ovate or obovate, 4-16 cm long, 1-8 cm wide with narrowly winged stalks. Upper leaves are smaller, alternately arranged, usually entire, sometimes coarsely toothed, stalkless and somewhat clasping the main stem. Inflorescence is an involucrate flower head resembling a single flower, 1.2-1.4 cm long, 4-5 mm wide, urn-shaped, long-stalked, at the end of branches. Flowering branches usually dichotomously branched with 3-6 heads, each head or capitulum a composite of numerous florets. The cup of the flower-head is green, cylindrical, somewhat inflated below. Florets are 30-60 per head, purple, scarlet, red, pink, orange, white or lilac. Purple Sow Thistle is found in the Himalayas, up to altitudes of 2100 m.

Identification credit: Navendu Pāgé Photographed at JNCASR, Bangalore.

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